With a new Tom Jones having dropped onto my doorstep (six years after his previous effort, which is far too long in my opinion considering the albums that went into making this this playlist were absolutely fantastic), I thought it was time to offer up a playlist of the great mans work. Now, Mr Jones has been a recording artist since 1964 and like any artist that has been recording as long as he has, there are going to be some duds in there with the gold. But what gold I would have had to choose from. His stellar A-Sides such as ‘Green, Grass of Home’, ‘Delilah’ and the immortal ‘It’s Not Unusual’. I could have looked deep cuts such as his first single ‘Chills & Fever’ or an overlooked B-Side such as ‘Looking Out My Window’ with a drum break that has been sampled numerous times. There was the resurrection of his career in the late 80s as well as the classic ‘Reload’ album for 1999. Even records from the wilderness years of the mid to late 70s have their nuggets included, but it is with the albums that Jones has released since 2010 that have inspired this playlist.
2010 saw Jones leave the hair and beard dye at home, and come back with an album of blues and gospel songs called ‘Praise & Blame’ Before the album came out, David Sharpe, who was the Vice-President of Jones’ record label thought the album was a joke and wanted “to get my money back”. Showing that the people who run record labels don’t necessarily know a good thing when they hear it, the LP reached Number 2 in the UK album charts and make headway in other markets around the world. Jones seems to be in his element. The production is stripped back and it allows the songs to breath as well showing the power in Jones’ voice has not diminished over time. He followed this up this up with ‘Spirit In The Room’, which cast its net a bit wider when it came to the songs as this included material from his contemporaries such as Paul Simon, Paul McCartney and Leonard Cohen. A third album in this style followed in 2015 in the shape of ‘Long Lost Suitcase’ and it is from these three that this playlist comes from. I do hope we do not have to wait another six years for the next Tom Jones album.
What Good Am I?
Take My Love (I Want To Give it)
Honey, Honey (With Imelda May)
Love & Blessings
Soul Of A Man
Elvis Presley Blues
Did Trouble Me
Opportunity To Cry
He Was A Friend of Mine
Tower Of Song
I Wish You Would
Ain’t No Grave
Didn’t It Rain
All Blues Hail Mary
If I Give My Soul
I picked the title for this playlist as “Praise & Blame’ because it was a great cover and sums up perfectly the music contained within. The cover is the same as the original LP.
And so I come to the last soundtrack album for the Deutschland series. All three of these television series has been really good, blending fact and fiction brilliantly. I would highly recommend watching all of them.
This soundtrack is a bit different from the previous two because whoever did the music for series 3, did it differently. Whereas series 1 & 2 used (mostly) contemporary tunes, this series used quite a lot of music from the 21st Century. Some songs were used in more than one show so these two factors made compiling this LP a bit tricker than previous efforts as I only look to use songs from or before the period the show is set. I cannot even be sure that at least one, or more of these songs comes form the early 90s because some of them are very obscure.
As with all of the other soundtracks, I had to start by using ‘Major Tom (Coming Home)’ by Peter Schilling. It is the song used on the opening credits and as I would have K-Tel releasing this record, they would want to make the most of this songs license. This is followed by ‘Alle Vögel Sind Schon Da’ by Botho-Lucas-Chor. Roughly translating to ‘All The Birds Are Already There’, the Botho-Lucas-Chor were one of the most famous German vocal ensembles groups of the 1960s and 70s. We also have a couple of classical pieces on Side A with Max Reger’s ‘Andante in De Major’ and ‘Quando Parli’. I have not been able to find out much about this second piece and this could even have been produced after 1989, but it does fit into the overall sound so I kept it in. In-between this two classical pieces is ‘Sag’ Mir, Wo Du Stehst ‘ by Naiv. I have not been able to find out anything about this band and like ‘Quando Parli’, I have not been able to confirm if this piece was recorded after 1989. We finish off Side A with ‘Lied Die Partei’ which translates as ‘The Party Is Always Right’ and was used but the East German Communist Party (SED) as the official party song.
Side B starts of with the B-52s and ‘Roam’, the other major hit from their ‘Cosmic Thing’ album (the other being ‘Love Shack’). Bert Sommer was the second lead vocalist in The Left Banke, as well as appearing in the musical ‘Hair’ in 1969 along with the original Woodstock Festival where he performed the song ’Jennifer’. We then have an early 60s recording of Mass In B Minor, BMV 232: Kyrie Elesion (Chorus) by the Robert Shaw Orchestra & Chorus. I included the whole of this section because it actually brought the run time of the album up to respectable length for an LP, and also because it would have been a disgrace to edit this down. The album finishes off with ‘I’m Gonna Lose You’ by Simply Red which originally appeared on the soundtrack to the film, ‘Frantic’.
So there we have it, the last of the Deutschland soundtracks. This one was a bit different from the previous three, but it still holds together as a soundtrack. The sleeve for this was adapted from the publicity material posted on line when the series was released.
Major Tom (Coming Home) – Peter Schilling
Alle Vögel Sind Schon Da – Botho Lucas
Andante in D Major – Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra
Sag’ Mir, Wo Du Stehst – Naiv
Quando Parli – Giovanni Battista Bononcini
Lied Die Partei – Ernst Busch
Roam – The B-52’s
Jennifer – Bert Sommer
Mass In B Minor, BMV 232: Kyrie Elesion (Chorus) – Robert Shaw Orchestra And Chorus
I’m Gonna Lose You – Simply Red
This playlist was impossible to recreate using Spotify.
Following on from my earlier John Entwistle post here is another slice of The Who for you. 1968 was a busy time in terms of ideas for The Who that never happened. There was talk of a TV show called ‘Sound & Picture City’, which would involve The Who performing a new song every week, act in some light hearted sketches and introduce a series of musical guests. If you want to get some idea of what these sketches would have been like, watch the ‘Happy Jack’ promo film from 1966 (link below). There was talk of a live album, and two nights were recorded at the Fillmore East, but these would not see the light of day until 2018. Apart from the John Entwistle children’s record, there was talk of a covers EP and/or an LP of whatever was left over in the archives at the time which would go by the name of ‘Who’s For Tennis’.
As this was the era when the band were not short of ideas, but they lacked the application to actually finish them, none of the above projects would see the light of day in the 60s. On other sites that look at records that never saw the light of day, the album most try to reconstruct is ‘Lifehouse’ project. Others look at reproducing the ‘Who’s For Tennis’, an album which would have been a mix of songs rejected for other projects and some newly recorded material that would eventually be either kept in the vaults or be released on singles.
With my version of ‘Who’s For Tennis’, I have gone with one of the other concepts that was put forward in 1968 and that was the covers EP. This may well have been seen as a retrograde step by the band as Townsend had already forged a reputation as a song writer of note. It was also the done thing for serious museo’s to write their own material at this time. Covers were for pop and novelty acts man. This could also be seen as the band being ahead of the curve because both David Bowie (who covered 60s music that had inspired him) and Harry Nillson (with an album of standards) would do just that in the early 70s. Instead of the record being an EP though, I wondered if there was enough material to make an LP. Well, there was but only just. With this in mind, would the band have re-recorded some of the songs that had covered previously, made some new covers or just released songs that they already had in the vault to save time. I went with combination of the last two.
There were two other things I took into consideration is that no covers could be included if they had already appeared on an album before this. The second thing was that any cover from the bands history could be used, except for any recordings made for the BBC and I could not used anything that had been recorded with producer Shel Talmy. Talmy owned the tapes from the first album sessions and there was some bad blood between the producer and the band, especially after the legal dispute had found in his favour. I doubt that Talmy would have released the tapes in 1968, especially as it took until 2002 for these disputes to be settled.
The band did record at least three songs for this project. ‘Young Man Blues’, ‘Summertime Blues’ and ‘Fortune Teller’ are all included here. John Entwistle mentioned that they recorded a version of ‘Road Runner’, but no evidence has been forthcoming of this. The band also recorded “Shakin’ All Over’ for the BBC and they performed it in concert many time in the late 60s and early 70s. However, I could not find any reference to a studio version so this one could not be used. Three songs does not an LP make, so what else do we have from the bands archive. The 70s compilation ‘Odd’s & Sod’s’, which did a really good job of showing that there was more to the band that what fans had heard so far. It is the reissue from the 1990’s which opened up the archive doors a little further to add weight to this project. From it, we have a cover of Eddie Cochran’s ‘My Way’, recorded in 1967, ‘Summertimes Blues’ was another Eddie Cochrane song that would be included on The Who’s ‘Live At Leeds’ but this is the studio take from 1967. Lastly they is a cover of Mose Allison’s ‘Young Man Blues’, which also featured on the Who’s ‘Live At Leeds’ LP.
Then there is the two covers of songs by The Rolling Stones. ‘Under My Thumb’ and ‘The Last Time’ that had been recorded to show support for Mick Jagger and Keith Richards who had been imprisoned on drugs charges. The recording was completed when a time when John Entwistle was on his honeymoon, so Pete Towsnend played the bass on these recordings. By the time the single came out, Jagger and Richards had both been released and the single did not break the Top 40 of the UK singles chart.
‘Bucket T’ was originally recorded by Jan & Dean, and it may well have been Keith Moon’s suggestion to record this as he was a big fan of surf music. This is also the only song from the ‘Ready, Steady, Who EP not included on the John Entwistle children’s record and I didn’t want to double up on the songs used on these Who what if records. If this version of ‘Who’s For Tennis’ had even been considered, then these two tracks could have made the LP.
The Who had also recorded a version of a classical tune for another unrealised project from 1967. That project was an instrumentals EP where the band would showcase their improvisational side but only two tunes were recorded before this project fell by the way side. One was the self composed ‘Sodding About’, but the other was a cover of Grieg’s ‘Hall of the Mountain King’. There was also a studio cut of the Everly Brothers song ‘Man With Money’, and lastly is a version of Bo Diddley’s ‘Here ’Tis’, which dates back to the early days of the band and their sessions for Pete Meeden when they were going by the name The High Numbers.
Even though this was an interesting trawl through The Who’s archive, I feel that if this record was released in 1968, it would have been a good stop gap until they unleashed ‘Tommy’ a year later. 1968 really was a lost year for The Who, but they did have an ace up their sleeves in the form of a deaf, dumb and blind kid who would propel the band into superstardom.
Here ’Tis (as The High Numbers)
Under My Thumb
In The Hall Of The Mountain King
Man With Money
Young Man Blues
The Last Time
The front cover is taken from the wonderful John Hunt and his website over at https://idesignalbumcovers.tumblr.com. Due to one or more songs not being available, this playlist could not be replicated on Spotify.
The ‘Happy Jack’ promo can be seen via this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52cQeFBU2Kw
With The Who releasing a Super Deluxe Edition of their classic ‘The Who Sell Out’ this month, I thought I would have a delve into their back catalog to come up a couple of What-If albums. As it turns out, they cover the period after the aforementioned album came out.
The late 60s. Where bands who only a few years before would be seen wearing matching suits, they now they would be seen in the best Canary Street caftans and brightly colours outfits. Where music became a lot more experimental and harked back to the writers youth referring to children’s books and the music hall traditional. Well, that’s what happened in the UK anyway. Even The Who, the ultimate R&B Mod band went all floral jackets and freaked out with songs such as ‘Armenia City In The Sky’ and ‘I Can See For Miles’. It was also the era when ideas where thrown out left, right and centre about what a band were going to do and in their manager Kit Lambert, The Who had a man with ideas to burn. It was he that is credited with convincing Pete Townshend to move away from conventional song writing and move into something more mature. Townshend had produced the song ‘A Quick One, While He’s Away’, which had six distinct movements. It would also lead to ‘Tommy’, the album that turned The Who from international hitmakers into a creative force to be reckoned with.
Lambert didn’t just save his ideas fro Townshend though. He also had some ideas for the bands bass player, John Entwistle. Lambert recognised Entwistle’s talent for writing quirky songs that could possibly appeal to children, so what if an album had been released made up of John’s songs for that market. This would not be the first time that a major 60s artist had released an album geared toward children. Donovan had released a double album called ‘A Gift From A Flower To A Garden’ where the second disc was made up of nursery rhyme style songs for younger listeners. However, Entwistle didn’t write songs in that vein, but about nasty old men who kept all their money to themselves and spiders. Supposedly, Entwistle completed fitteen songs for the project before it went the way of many a Who project and disappeared into the mists of time. Some of these songs were released by The Who on the B-Sides of singles as well as as the odd album track. However, what if this album had been put together and released in 1968 as The Who didn’t put out an album themselves that year (even though a hodgepodge of outtakes and singles was mooted called ‘Anyone For Tennis’). What do we have?
Well, the answer to that is not a lot. Not all of those fifteen songs were recorded at the time as far as I can tell, and if they were, they have not seen the light of day. Some of them may well have been used for a late 90s animated show called Van-Pires. Bogeyman from that show could well be a retitling of the song ‘She’s A Witch’, which has also been known as ‘Horrid Olive’. This song has been shown to date form a demo recorded in 1970. There were only eight Entwistle songs to choose from, and they were short songs at that. Even for the 60s, a ten song album of just over 20 minutes would have been a bit short. There, I included two songs, which featured on the ‘Ready Steady Who’ EP. Even though they were covers, they do fit into the theme of the album. These were the theme to the Batman television series and Barbara-Ann, originally recorded by The Regents but this version shares a similar arrangement to the one The Beach Boys had produced. The 60s Batman show was directed towards children and Barbara-Ann has a certain amount of charm about it that it fits in better here than it did on the original Who EP. All of the information contained below relate to UK release dates as well as that territories versions of singles and LPs.
Doctor Doctor – Originally released on the B-Side to the ‘Pictures of Lily’ single (1967). If nothing else, this song sounds like a child going to the Doctors and complaining about all that is wrong with him. The bit a bit making a will though might not be so child like.
Boris The Spider – Originally released on the album ‘A Quick One’ (1966). The first song Entwistle ever wrote and he said it only took six minutes to do so. It was inspired by a night out with Rolling Stone’s bass player Bill Wyman, where they would give animals funny names. Entwistle came up with Boris the Spider and a staple of live Who performances for the next few years was born.
Someone’s Coming – Originally released as the B-Side to the ‘I Can See For Miles’ single (1967). Not really a children’s song as it deals with a man who wants to see his girlfriend but her parents ban her from seeing him. They only time they get to meet is when she takes her dog for a walk.
In The City – Originally released as the B-Side to the “I’m A Boy’ single (1966). A co-write with Who drummer, Keith Moon and shows Moon’s love of The Beach Boys as it mentions surfing, but I am not sure how much surfing anyone could have done in a British City.
Batman – Originally released on the EP ‘Ready Steady Who’ (1966). Written by Neal Hefti and was the opening theme to the popular TV Show that ran from 1966 to 1968.
I’ve Been Away – Originally released as the B-Side to the single ‘Happy Jack’ (1966). A revenge story from man who has spent time in prison after being found guilty of a crime his brother had committed.
Whiskey Man – Originally released on the album ‘A Quick One’ (1966). The story of a man and his imaginary drinking buddy, who only ever seems to be there when the protagonist drinks. You might think that a song about a man who drinks too much and is put in a padded cell would be inappropriate for a children’s album, but this was the 60s. Kids programmes such as Doctor Who would show characters smoking and in Camberwick Green, Windy Miller is unable to do his job after having drunk himself to sleep on very strong cider.
Silas Stingy – Originally released on the album ‘The Who Sell Out’ (1967). A perfect fit for this album as it tells the story of a man who is so tight with his money that children take the piss out of him for it. He is also so worried about it being stolen that he buys so much stuff to protect his cash that he bankrupts himself.
Dr. Jekyll & Mr Hyde – Originally released as the B-Side to the single ‘Call Me Lightning’ (1968). Written about the problems Keith Moon was having with drink and how he was one person when sober and another when drunk. This is the slightly longer UK version of the song.
Barbara Ann – Originally released on the EP ‘Ready Steady Who’ (1966).
Would this album have come out in the 60’s? Not a chance. It would have involved Entwistle not having any of his songs performed on any Who record up to 1968, the year in which Kit Lambert put forward the idea of a children album in the first place and having the foresight to have enough material to fit a solo LP, when that sort of thing was rare in that period. As an album, it fits together nicely and I was quite surprised that all of the songs were available on Spotify.
Boris The Spider
In The City
I’ve Been Away
Dr. Jekyll & Mr Hyde
The LPs sleeve has been taken from the back cover of his 1972 solo album Whistle Rhymes which fits perfectly with the theme of the LP. A picture of the man himself from the late 1960s is now where the sun was. A Track Records logo and text were added.